Blackburn Rovers are the visitors to Bloomfield Road as Blackpool host their first Premiership North West derby of the season.
With five games gone in Pool’s first campaign in the modern day top flight, Ian Holloway’s men are sitting pretty in ninth spot with seven points – six of which picked up away from home.
Going into such a crucial game, the Seasiders could not have wished for a better start and still with 18 home games left, must be targeting very reachable three points in a number of fixtures. One of those fixtures is Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn, having only won twice away from Ewood Park since November.
After a slightly disappointing draw at home to Fulham, Pool will be hoping to get that first home win done with as soon as possible.
What is interesting about the game is whether or not the Seasiders are able to deal with the physical power of Rovers who boast a relatively big side who will want to mix it up in and around the penalty area. In the past the Blackpool defence has had problems dealing with let’s say ‘stronger’ teams, but with the introduction of Dekel Keinan to the back four, it could be that Ian Evatt and co are more equipped to deal with high pressurising balls.
There is a hope inside me that Ollie sets the side out to attack from the off and play their attractive football, not to get bogged down in what could be a heavy fixture – especially in the middle of the park. Phil Jones up against Charlie Adam could be a feisty match up…
Brett Ormerod, Blackburn fan, said: ‘You wouldn’t believe how many tickets I’ve had to try to get for the game.
‘I’ve had to find 17 on top of what I normally get but all my family are Blackburn fans, so I won’t have too many cheering for me.
‘I’ll have to rely on a couple of mates who support Burnley. This is probably the only time they have wanted me to do well!’
Big Sam on being sacked by Pool in ’96: ‘In the early stages it was a bewilderment. I was staring into space for a while, not knowing what to do with my life and not knowing how to cope or deal with it.
‘It left me wanting to prove people wrong, because they made a decision you think they shouldn’t have made. So instead of letting them look back in later years and say I told you so, I look back and say that was the wrong thing you did. It gave me a stronger desire and a stronger determination to prove them wrong.
‘I probably could have stayed in the businesses I had at the time and focused on them more, but I really had a burning desire that I had the capability of being a very good manager.’
Blackpool Team News:
Alex Baptiste is out for six weeks with a knee injury, which will probably see Neal Eardley fill in.
Craig Cathcart is pushing for a recall after the Seasiders shipped four in the first half at Chelsea last weekend.
Up front Marlon Harewood might be prefered in order to take care of one of the Rovers central defenders.
Player to watch: Charlie Adam
The game presents Charlie Adam with his best chance this season to stamp authority on a Premiership fixture.
At home and hopefully with an attacking ascendacy, Adam’s range of passing and drive from midfield could be crucial, especially up against the inexperienced Jones.
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Rovers’ playmaker David Dunn misses the game, along with Jason Roberts and midfielder Vince Grella, plus Keith Andrews.
Nicola Kalinic is likely to lead the line with support from the two Diouf’s and Morten Gamst Pedersen.
Player to watch: Chris Samba
The central defender is an imposing figure for Blackburn. He’s up and down between penalty boxes regularly as Allardyce’s side love to get balls into the box from freekicks and throw-ins.
An absolute rock at the back whilst a goal threat, Samba should be watched at all times.
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Sunday October 3rd.
Away tickets – sold out.